“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The States' Health Care Constitutional Lawsuit

I'm very enthused by the broad movement of so many states joining a common lawsuit against the recent health care bill on Constitutional grounds.

Despite the mainstream media's refusal to acknowledge the legitimate bases, and its attempt to paint the effort as misguided and doomed, there really are solid reasons for the suit.

The most easily-understood basis is simply that government cannot force you to buy anything just because you are, well, living.

Auto insurance is in exchange for the privilege of driving on common, public roads. The military draft is not a product, and is clearly provided for in the Constitution for common defense.

States are correct in believing that, once allowed to choose health care as a compulsory purchase, there is nothing to prevent, say, government mandates to buy GM cars, or anything else, and set the price, too.

The other major basis, as I understand it, is the federal government's infringement upon the sovereignty of the states with respect to their fiscal decisions.

The example I've heard is from Florida. A state legislator noted that the health care bill saddles the state with an unaffordable mandate for Medicaid, forcing it to either raise taxes or cut other spending. States, you see, typically have balanced budget rules and are not allowed to run deficits.

Again, this is a slippery-slope issue. If the federal government, a creation of the (then 13) states, can turn the tables and become their master, what is left for states to control?

The tenth amendment becomes a joke.

There's also an interesting aspect to the suit that brings this recent post into play.

If the Supreme Court, to which this case will surely eventually come, decides for the states, it's back to the drawing board for Wonderboy's health care sector takeover. Sold, in part, on fiscal rectitude, it will be difficult for him to plunge ahead without the mandate. Sure, his minions are probably working on 'Plan B,' but that, too, will need to be legislated.

Good luck with that now.

If the Supreme Court decides in favor of the federal government, look for the states to turn to the Constitutional Convention alternative in a big way.

Already, nearly half the states are joining this lawsuit. Certainly the number is nearing 20.

If the suit fails, how hard will it be for those 20 or so states AGs to convince another 15 or so to join a common effort to rein in their joint creation, the federal government, and, by the way, the courts as well?

Not very hard.

This is a first in my life time and, I believe, really ever. A broad group of states suing the federal government for overstepping its bounds. The states have, however, the ultimate trump card.

Rewrite the Constitution to simply forbid the offending act, and a whole lot more.

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